Posted by: dinainsuburbia | February 1, 2010

for my grandpa

Dear Grandpa-

I don’t know why, as humans, we wait until the very last minute to tell people how we feel.  Maybe it’s because we don’t want to feel vulnerable.  Maybe it’s part of the human condition- to think that we’ll live forever and that there is always a tomorrow.  The past few days I’ve been thinking about you & me- all the memories I have of us together:  the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Grandpa, you taught me so much..

I remember when I was real young- maybe 5 or 6 – you taught me about “around-the-block”.  You were living in Wantagh at the time and I had my hotwheel (I vaguely remember it being yellow and purple) and you explained that I just had to keep making right turns every time I can to a street.  I got scared though (I always had pretty bad separation anxiety) and you had to walk around the block with me the first time.  You weren’t impatient- you took your time.  Maybe Rocky even came with us (I can’t exactly remember that detail).  Once we came back, you had me go around on my own and you waited for me.  

I remember, in that same house in Wantagh, sleeping over; always between you and Grandma.  Sleeping in between you both has to be, to date, the safest I have ever felt in my life.  I wish I can go back just one night.. the deepest sleep ever- no worries about the future, what’s to be (or most importantly about my kids- once you have those, there’s no more sleeping really). 

It was from that house that we took a motor home trip to Florida.  You drove (I think switching off with Bobby) and I swear you were super human- you never really had to sleep- you were always awake before I was and sleeping after me.  That was the trip I got the eye burn.  Always some drama, right?

There was all the time we spent together in the Poconos.  You taught me how to use chopsticks in the kitchen of the log cabin house.  You let me color in your tattoo and put makeup & nail polish on you while you were sleeping when I was bored.  I roller skated in the house to your Andrews Sisters tapes.  I remember you taking me up to the roof at night to see the stars.  Of course I can’t forget all the time we spent at the flea market (remember those stupid cocoons of worms- one time we saw a lady with red hair walk by and she had all those worms in her hair.. gross).

Of course, you taught me how to draw Andy Panda- a skill I know still, and I will teach Maddie & Joel one day (I remember winning an award in elementary school because I drew Andy Panda for a reading poster contest). 

You sat with me when I had a stomach ache and rubbed my stomach.  You ran out to the store to get me sherbert when I had a fever.  And of course you drove countless miles to return to me whatever I left behind at your house (retainer, night brace, books, etc) so my mom didn’t “kill me”. 

You let me drink a pina colada and gamble in Puerto Rico when I was sixteen (you told the waitress that you were my grandfather, and because of that, it was OK that I drank… you were so cool you changed laws.. ha ha) and lets not forget all the New Years Eves we spent together (you always let me have a little bit of something to toast with). 

It is said that you marry a man like your father- and that very well may be true- but for me, I see more of a similarity between you and John.  It’s no wonder I married someone so super patient- because that is how you are.  It’s no wonder I married someone that’s sort of quiet too, because that is how you are.  And it’s no wonder I married someone so attentive- I still remember the clank of spoon against mug as you fixed Grandma’s coffee.  In a way, mine and John’s relationship is very much modeled after yours and grandma’s.  I’m sure your relationship isn’t perfect (hey, whose is) but after 56 years of marriage, you gotta be doing something right.  I’ll tell you this, it’s an honor to wear grandma’s wedding ring.. but also a reminder that John and I have so much to live up to and so much to pass on to Madeline and Joel.

Grandpa, I love you so much.  So much of who I am is from you.  You will always ALWAYS have a huge place in my heart


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